Soniqs removed LESLAO for racist in-game effigy

1Play DOTA2 News
Oct 21

An unredeemable mistake that involved a racist remark from the past had finally caught up to Soniqs offlaner, Rodrigo “LESLÃO” Santos. Soniqs issued a statement releasing LESLÃO from its Dota 2 roster effective immediately.

The statement reads, “At the conclusion of our TI11 match versus BOOM Esports, there was a racist message visible in-game from Rodrigo “LESLÃO” Santos. We hold our players to a high standard of professionalism and have a zero-tolerance policy towards racism or discrimination of any kind. Effective immediately, we have released LESLÃO from his contract at Soniqs.”

During a critical TI11 tiebreaker match between Soniqs and BOOM Esports, an observer hovered over to Leslao’s effigy – The Heroic Effigy of Triumph.

An effigy is an in-game Dota 2 cosmetic item that can be inscribed with the player’s words of choice. Leslao’s effigy happened to contain an extremely racist slur ‘run n**ga’. Even though it only appeared on screen for a mere second, a user screenshotted and posted the remark on Reddit.

LESLÃO later admitted on Twitter that he carelessly wrote the remark many years ago and had forgotten about it. He apologized for having written it in the first place and not checking to remove it. However, it was too little too late.

LESLÃO had just rejoined the Dota roster–formerly known as Quincy Crew–prior to signing with Soniqs this year. It took so long for Quincy Crew to finally partner with a sponsor that they were happy with. Things started off great for the North American team after they beat Nouns Esports in the regional qualifiers and made it to TI11.

Unfortunately, their recent PR disaster coupled with their elimination from the tournament might spell the end of this partnership. On top of dropping LESLÃO, Jack “KBBQ” Chen recently tweeted that he “might never be on the pro team side again.” This is by no means a confirmation on whether he will step down from his role as a manager with Soniqs. However, the future does look bleak for the organization and its Dota 2 roster.

Soniqs finished the group stage with a 1-3-5 record winning only 5 games and losing 13. It wasn’t enough for them to qualify to the TI11 playoffs, placing only higher than Bet Boom. Their TI11 journey having come to an end, the future looks slightly uncertain for Soniqs. will have exclusive coverage for TI11 with many reporters at venue and exclusive player access. Meanwhile, you can also follow our TI11 live coverage here.

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